Robin O'Mara President, O’Mara Ag Services

Robert (Robin) O’Mara in 1998 established O’Mara Ag Services, a design-build construction company to the seed industry. His company manufactures seed handling equipment with ‘seedmanship’ built in to meet the unique needs of a niche market. Before forming O’Mara Ag Services, O’Mara was with Corn States Hybrid Services where he participated in facility design and construction.

On a very regular basis, we are asked to fit things where they really aren’t meant to go. I call this putting 10 pounds into a five-pound bucket. Let me tell you, as a plant designer, if you give me 40 feet of building roof height, I will probably use it, most likely all of it.

I was recently asked to look at a building as a potential location for a seed corn conditioning operation. It was in a good location for distribution in a growing area where the floor space and the budget both fit. Maybe even the best part for me, we had been recommended by another client. That part makes me smile all day. You in yet? I was in from the first hello.

As we toured the building to assess the fit for this new line, we talked about all the components and niceties that were wanted. I love this stuff and this part of the process. When we rounded the corner and reached the area of the building that was available, I measured and had to use my cell phone light to make sure I was reading correctly: 17 feet it said, and no penetrating the new roof.

I like a challenge, wow do I like a challenge! I’m really good at thinking while I’m driving so back at my desk I was soon in deep conversations with my team (deep conversation example # 1: “you should have your head examined.”). Soon some darn good ideas were flowing and we were off to the races.

We’re not talking about a lab sized operation here. I mean it includes air-screen cleaning, optical sorting, sizing, density separation, large batch treating, treated seed drying, refuge blending, paper packaging, mini-bulk and hard side packaging, ability to rebag, many holding bins with superior versatility for varying corn sizes and crop conditions–all of it Yes all of it, under a 17-foot roof.

We created solutions for this particular situation that make for a compact, gentle, user friendly, clean, dust-controlled atmosphere and, very importantly, pocket-book friendly. 

The plant is now operational and includes many custom and innovative solutions that make it a one-of-a kind “Bucket.” All 10 pounds fit in without spilling over.